Davidson T. Chen, Benjamin S. Yaplee, Donald L. Hammond, Paul Bey


The ability to measure the wave spectra in the open ocean from a moving vessel has met with varying degrees of success. Each sensor to date has suffered in its performance due to environmental conditions or due to its physical placement aboard the vessel for measuring the unperturbed sea. This paper will discuss the utilization of a microwave sensor on a moving vessel for measuring the open ocean wave spectra. Employing microwaves, some of the limitations of other sensors are not experienced. Tucker [1] developed the Tuckermeter for measuring the wave spectra from a moving ship by sensing changes in water pressure due to surface wave conditions. The Tuckermeter is placed below the water line and thus requires calibration for each wave frequency, ship speed, and depth. Since the sensor operates on pressure, it performs as a low pass filter and will not sense the higher frequencies. A microwave shipboard wave height radar sensor for measuring the ocean wave spectra was developed by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and was installed on the S.S. McLean in February 1975 and its performance, design, and analysis of data for one data run will be discussed.


open ocean; wave measurement

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v15.%25p